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Saving Lives Is in My Blood


I was lounging on the couch as a storm raged outside when a doctor from the New York Blood Center called. I panicked. Did my last donation turn up some fatal disorder? No. The doctor calmly said there was an urgent need for my blood, a perfect match for a sick 11-year-old girl.

Fifteen years earlier, when my dad was diagnosed with esophageal cancer at 69, I made a bargain with God. If dad survived, I swore to give back for that gift. When dad initially improved after chemo, radiation and surgery, I started volunteering. In my mid-40s I washed dishes at a soup kitchen, worked at the New York City Marathon and sporadically tutored music students.

But I found my calling…

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Last Updated : Wednesday, March 4, 2020